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Monday, June 29, 2015

New Chinese Painting Theme sneak peak..

So I have been working on a new theme, and here is a sneak peak; the concept is an animated painting of a misty mountain lake in Japan or China. It is based on Chinese ink paintings, so its quite monotone, with just splashes of colour.

Still work in progress, but has some nice and different animations. I have included a waterfall for the first time, which I am very happy with; I am sure that will be reused in themes to come. Then there is a fishing boat that drifts out of the mist, the usual flying birds, some floating water lilies, and flower petals that drop from the waving tree branches. And as there is a lake, it shows water ripples as the raindrops splash down during rain scenes.

All the usual Weather conditions will be present, but maybe a bit more stylized than the other themes. I haven't decided yet whether to include sunset and night variations, or just stick with the idea of an animated painting.

And I cant quite decide whether it should be Chinese or Japanese, the gate type structure is only found in Japan, but the mountains and the temple in the background are more Chinese. So I'm also toying with the idea of replacing that with a bridge of some kind, maybe joining the left and right sides.

Anyway, here is a quick screenshot:




Thursday, June 11, 2015

cliMate v3.4 Released

This was a quick release to fix a long standing issue since 3.0 that I finally got a handle on, as I was getting several reports of the Current Location not working, which just didn't make sense. If the phone returns a set of GPS coordinates, then the weather providers should always return data for the nearest weather station, but this was failing, even though the coordinates had been obtained.

With the help of one user, we narrowed it down to World Weather Online, and to when running under Czech language, at which point I could replicate and fix it.

It turns out that many languages use the comma character ',' to indicate a decimal point, instead of the period character '.' which is used in the UK, US etc. When the phone was running under such a language, it was returning the GPS coordinates using a comma, so -13.48123 became -13,48123. Open Weather Map is able to handle both commas and periods for decimal points, but World Weather Online was always expecting a period, so it was failing and returning error messages.

This is now fixed, and v3.4 should now have the Current Location working fine under all different locales and languages for all Weather Providers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CliMate Animated Weather Widget version 3.3 released!

The new version 3.3 of cliMate is now available!

Featuring:

  • New Stonehenge Theme!
  • All forecast dates now correctly localized
  • Added moon rise and moon set in Main Screen night conditions
  • Added option to hide contrails
  • Added option to hide Date
  • Added choice of windspeed units
  • Improved layouts when widget resized to extreme widths
  • Bug fixes for rare crashes
  • Bug fix for countries that have multiple cities with the same name
 
 
 
So what's next? Already started on a Chinese Ink Painting style theme which looks promising, then I think its about time for a City theme.
 
Also I'm toying with the idea of an alternate forecast view on the main screen, perhaps for the next 12 hours, arranged in a clock style circle, and animated of course. You could then swipe between that detailed forecast for today, and the general forecast for the next 5 days.
 
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Version 3.3 nearing release..

So I have been hard at work on the next version of cliMate, with a lot of minor bug fixes but several notable improvements.

First off, a brand new Stonehenge theme for the widget, which looks really dramatic and striking:


 
 
 
Then a new Moonset and Moonrise animation and time indicator on the main screen, which is shown instead of the sunrise and sunset animation during night time scenes:
 
 

 
Then a whole bunch of small fixes for things:
  • Ensuring the dates on the forecast are shown using the correct local settings, e.g. 5/26 in the US versus 26/5 in Europe
  • Fixing the layouts when the widget is stretched extremely wide
  • A range of crash fixes
  • Fixes for forecasts where the Chance of Storm condition was used instead of Thunderstorm
  • Improved animation on Thunderstorm forecast animation
  • Added the ability to hide today's date
  • Added the ability to hide the jet contrails on the Clear and Partly Cloudy conditions
I had the occasional report that the clock shown on the widget is not syncing up with the phone's actual time, but until now I have not been quite sure how to deal with it. So also trialing a new method of determining when the screen is switched on and hence when to update the clock.
 
A lot of testing to go, and then should aim to release maybe next week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Quick cliMate 3.2 Bug fix

Well, that was annoying.

No sooner had I published cliMate 3.0 then I discovered 2 annoying bugs.

For World Weather Online I was retrieving the Moon Rise and Moon Set data, in preparation for the next release when I will use them to add a moon animation.

However, I had assumed that data would always be available, and so when this morning it produced a "No Moonset" condition instead of a time for a particular location, it failed, making it impossible to update the weather or add a new widget for that location.

Also discovered that when searching for a city name, it was ignoring the country code on the returned results. This was found due to a user in Rome, with a widget with the city name of "Roma". When updating, it was bringing back data for the first Roma it found, which was in Australia, rather than Roma, Italy. So the user was seeing an Australian time-zone and Australian weather.

Now the country code is being appended to the retrieval, and the correct city and time-zone is being returned.

A new version 3.2 has these fixed.

cliMate Animated Weather Widget v3.0 Released!

cliMate Animated Weather Widget version 3.0 was released today, and features the following enhancements:
 
  • New default World Weather Online weather provider
  • Improved main screen that matches Widget theme
  • New sunrise/sunset information on main screen
  • Windmill rotation matches current windspeed in main screen
  • Improved animation on main screen when swiping between different locations
 After the upgrade, any existing widgets will remain using Open Weather Map until they are manually switched over to use World Weather Online, which can easily be done by clicking on the Set Location within the Settings screen, then clicking on the Preferred Weather Data setting to choose the World Weather Online provider:

 
It will then search for the original city name or current location via World Weather Online.

All new widgets will use World Weather Online from the start, unless told otherwise.

This should fix the 2nd of the two major complaints about cliMate, firstly that is wasn't resizable, secondly that the data wasn't accurate.

World Weather Online seems just as good (if not better) than AccuWeather, so hopefully the accuracy issue will be laid to rest.

Next up: Adding a moon rise/moon set indicator, and the Stonehenge theme.

Then, working on new themes, all suggestions welcome!

Monday, March 30, 2015

CliMate Update - New Main Screen and Weather Provider

Time for an update on recent work to CliMate.

On the main screen:
 
  • The layout for a particular widget location is now much improved and linked to the chosen Theme for that widget.
  • If the Countryside Theme is chosen, the windmill rotation is based on the current wind speed
  • There is a new sunrise/sunset animation; the sun rises over the sunrise time indicator, travels across the "sky" and sets above the sunset time indicator. 


Also started to add a new weather provider. The accuracy of OpenWeatherMap varies enormously according to location; for some areas it is perfect, others have severe problems with accuracy. For other locations, the accuracy depends on the time of year; here in Hong Kong for example its fine throughout the year apart from about 3 months around April, where it is not able to keep up with the constant shifting of fine weather to rainy weather.

Everyone wants AccuWeather, but they are no longer giving out API keys; so I can't get free or paid data for it.

The next best option seems World Weather Online; based on my tests so far it is more accurate and up to date than OpenWeatherMap, but of course is not free. So I will be rolling that out with the next release and hoping that will resolve most users accuracy issues.